As Needed waters ALL zones?

Does the new “As Needed” scheduling always water all zones? One thing that was great for me about the Flex scheduling was that I have a couple different parts of my yard that get vastly different amounts of sun and have somewhat different drainage characteristics.

Specifically, the back of my house is a southern exposure and the neighbor to the south of me has a lot of tall, thick tree cover along his side of the property line, which means my back yard is in near-perpetual shade with the exception of about an hour at dawn and dusk. As a result, before I got Rachio I had to fool with my watering schedules extensively until I finally had it dialed down enough that the grass and plants got enough water, but the yard wasn’t swampy since it doesn’t dry out as much as the rest of my lawn that gets full sun.

With the Rachio and Flex Schedules, I always felt that it was doing a good job, because the back yard would only run every few days to a week, depending on rain (sometimes it wouldn’t run for weeks if we were getting just moderate rain), and everything was looking good.

I played with As Needed scheduling a bit, but it seems like it’s not as flexible, and like it waters every zone on scheduled days, rather than calculating each separate zone’s water needs. If you ask me, that sounds like a much less “intelligent” approach for a “smart” irrigation system to be taking, and misses the point why I (and probably many others) bought a Rachio in the first place.

Hi @TimDroz - Lucas here with Rachio. Thanks for your question. [quote=“TimDroz, post:1, topic:3798”]
Does the new “As Needed” scheduling always water all zones?
Any Water As Needed (WAN) schedule will water all of its zones, yes. That is, all the zones you’ve placed in a WAN schedule will be run as a part of that schedule. If using WAN schedules, creating “groupings” of zones with similar characteristics is important. For other tips on using WAN, I invite you to check out this thread: As Needed Scheduling Tips & Feedback:

If Flex was working better for you, please do continue using it! See: Flex scheduling online app

Since you’re already familiar with all the inputs and how to optimize your zone attributes, sticking with Flex may be the best for you. The WAN scheduling was created for our growing user base, as a more intuitive way to water Intelligently.

Rest assured, we are taking all feedback into account as we move forward and we’ll continue to iterate on software design and to innovate in the realm of water conservation.

Thanks for your Support!

Happy watering,
~Lucas V-K :rachio:

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Yes, given that explanation, I’d have to say that the new As Needed scheduling seems like a definite step backwards.

I didn’t buy Rachio because I wanted to micromanage the settings and configure each zone separately, I got it because I wouldn’t have to worry about any of that - Rachio’s main selling point for me was that I program it with the characteristics of my lawn and my sprinkler system, and it figures out the best watering schedules for everything.

Now it sounds like you’re suggesting I need to make most of those determinations, and the only real “smarts” is that it looks online to see if there’s rain in the forecast before it turns on?

I’ll definitely be sticking to the Flex schedule… I disabled my Flex schedule without deleting it, and I’ve re-enabled it today, I just hope that future updates don’t take it away permanently.